Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sinners or saints? : The Bali Nine Executions

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¤ What you are about to read is a controversial topic. If you are easily offended, please move on to a different blog post. Thank you. ¤

The execution of the 8 Bali nine drug smugglers recently has caused uproars and protests especially in Australia. Some even suggested on boycotting Bali altogether. My Facebook wall was overflowing with debates on the execution. Some claim it's a tragedy, a rather hush punishment, that these men died as fallen heroes while others, claim otherwise.

What you're about to read next is totally based on my personal opinion. I represent no one else but me.

In most south east asian countries, drug dealing as, well as drug smuggling, is considered a national offence. In Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and as well as Singapore, to be caught with large amount of dangerous drugs will land you a one way trip to the gallows.
This practice has been approved by the government law for many years.
As a tourist arriving by air, one of the first announcement that is being made in the plane after landing is the mandatory announcement regarding the country's law on trafficking dangerous drugs and that it carries a mandatory death sentenced, if found guilty. Arrving at the airport, warning signs welcomes visitors multiple times before they step out of the terminal. The same with all the rest of the mentioned countries.
People are constantly being reminded of the severity on punishments relating drugs. It's almost like an annoying mosquitoe that buzz into your ear before disappearing, only to return later on.

So a fair amount of warnings were being given out to the public. Ignore these warnings, then face the consequences.
It's simple...if you don't want to be sentenced to death, just DONT DO IT.
The Bali nine men were no exception. In fact, for dozens of years, many others whom were found guilty of such crime has been shot, hung or electrocuted. It is the law. Period.

Were these men heroes or criminals? That is the question. And not a very difficult one either. -again, all I'm writing now is all based on personal opinion. You are free to say I'm wrong and you think otherwise. It's entirely up to you-.
So my verdict on the men...they dies as criminals.
At which point did someone says they were brave heroes?
The world is protesting over the execution of drug dealers. There are many other more worthy causes we can spend the same amount of energy in. Yet, hundreads mourns the death of these men. I'm not saying we musnt mourn for them. Mourning is healthy. Bit to rebel and protest over it is senseless. No denying at the end of the day, smugglers or not, they're still a person with families and friends and a life of their own. But to debate on this matter?? Not even worth it. Besides, at what point were they considered brave? They had no choice. Unless of course you're reflecting their bravery on smuggling in heroin into Bali, well yes. Brave but stupid.

These men were aware of the state they were in even before they got caught. How could they not?
To be involved in the drug ring is a serious manner. Many things needed to be done to prepare one before carrying out their 'tasks'. Precautions were to be taken. Plans needed to be precise and sneakyw enough for them to go under the radar unnoticed. It takes a brains and courage. So yes, I have to make a bold statement here and say that the men weren't stupid. Risks were to be taken, yet unfortunately for them, they lost.

In any country, the government is full of flaws. Corruption too. So before you bring up any other unrelated cases to prove that injustice were served, keep in mind this blog post is only about the Bali nine executions.

Was the execution fair though? Perhaps yes, perhaps not. I believe in second chances. That everyone is entitled to one. But when an offense of this scale being done and you are aware of the charges, then well one should be prepared to face the penalty if found guilty.
Rules are rules, and they apply anywhere in the world. The Bali nine gang, however, choose a place that doesn't tolerate kindly with such heist. That is not the government's problem then. The men played with fire, they got burn.

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However, condolences and prayers should be sent out to the families and friends of the men. It's them that suffers most and it's unfair.

So readers from all over the world, JUST STAY AWAY FROM DRUGS. It's that easy.

<span class="post_sig">AZ</span>

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Diary of a single Malaysian

I find myself yet again wondering the streets of Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur not sure of what my motives are. I had, initially, in mind to just enjoy a cup of coffee at Starbucks but to my dismay, there weren't any singles insight for me to not feel like an outcast.

Which now leads me to there a place in town that's meant for single lonely people like me? A place where it's not socially awkward for me to just take a sit alone...either at the bar, or a table. 
A place where other single lonely people could gather and feel less lonely? Not a club or a pub! A daytime place. Cafes, restaurants, bistros, coffee shops. Places like these.

For my foreign readers from different parts of the world, places like these might already exist. But here in Malaysia, it doesn't. Or at least maybe I just haven't found one yet. 
Here in my homeland, a table will automatically come with a set of chairs. Its meant for a group of more than, well, one. If you're by yourself, it's safe to assume you'd be grabbing some food TO GO. It's a social preference. 
I guess they're aren't many Malaysians like me. You know...the kind that wonders aimlessly to find a cozy spot for me to enjoy whatever my order is, just so I can sit and silently play matchmate with myself. Pathetic much? It gets better. I would literally cafe-hop just so I could try out my 'market'. Scouting every Starbucks, mamaks, bistros, just so I'd have a change of view (and people).

Desperate is an understatement. Oh no...I'm beyond that. And I have no shame admitting to it. I guess because its pretty much isn't a secret after all. Trust me, someone (I hardly) know told me that right in my face. But don't worry, we're friends now. Besides, he pretty much was JUST being honest. 
So yeah, I'm here trying to fit into the crowd but only to be rejected by not being seen or noticed at all. Ok, so "at all" is an exaggeration. They see me, some might even turn their heads in an all obvious manner to look at me. But all I can think about is them asking themselves "what's with the lonely bastard? He aint got no friends with him...he's got to be a bastard!". Pardon my language.  
Perhaos, only perhaps, I'm just being judgmental to myself though. What if, if they really...don't give a craps??
Could it be that we make ourselves feel unaccepted to the public for being alone? Why do we do it? Do I have to keep asking these questions knowing no one will answer me? 
Well it's not just for me though. It's for everyone me.

I often think to myself, what if...WHAT future soulmate is doing the exact same thing? That one day we'll exchange glances on our one-seater table, and knew we were meant to meet. This time, as I write that down, I feel the energetic cheers orf many millions single boys and girls, man and women. Yeah right! I'll probably end up with one or two readers on this post. Just self humour. Haha. 
But seriously though, what if....
It's not even a crazy thought. It's a very possible assumption. Of course, there are many other ways we could meet.
Maybe even one of my readers? *did I not say I'm desperate?*

Much thought has been given into love. In fact, it drains the soul out of me. I told myself once, twice, a gazillion times that love doesn't always play a crucial role in life! It's important. Would be nice to be in love, but it's just not much of a priority to be happy. You see, being happy is very subjective. Whomever says money can't buy you happiness, would totally be someone like me. Someone so into the idea of falling in love, that they (we) would go out of our way to make ourselves noticed by that stupid flying pest we call...cupid. 
Unfortunately cupid sees us and yet figured out to whom to point that arrow to next. Stupid cupid.

It worries me. When I'm being told by someone else that they've been living the single's life for years, some even up to 14 years. Here I am...8. 8 freaking MONTHS and I'm already raising the white flag. 
Sure I'm coming to terms with myself not introducing myself as someone else's partner, but still, it would be nice to do so.

These are the times I wish I could call in psychic Tia and asks her about my future. This way, I won't need to even waste my time and money on beverages I'm not even thirsty enough to finish it up.

Ouh well...cest la vie


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Beauty and the GST

GST. What is GST? Malaysian Goods & Service Tax.
Questions after questions, yet I have not settled upon a concrete feedback on it's factual purpose.
But I'm not going to discuss on taxes. Not on this post. It's about the two infamous Dewi Remaja finalists who has deliberately turned themselves into accidental "bimbo"(s).

Dewi Remaja is some sort of a local 'beauty pageant" for teenagers, or at least that's what I understand about word 'remaja', and just like any other pageant, an IQ test will take place along the competition, and just like any other pageant, a few contestants will -eventually- end up giving unrelatable answers. And two of these finalists did so by failing to explain (therefore revealing their lack of understanding) the three letter killer...GST.

Not long after the interview was released, Malaysian Facebook wall posts burst with videos of the two finalists and critiques came pouring in from left, right and centre. The two girls were (and still is) being called stupid, embarrassing, 'blonds', name it! All of a sudden, the entire nation takes it personally. It's an offense to not know what GST is! Because apparently, everyone else understands it completely. Or so we make it look like it. I use the term 'we' only so you won't say that I'm excluding myself as saint against this issue.
The interviewer played it 'tough'. Asking direct questions without even a smile and will occasionally snap if the finalists answers a question with an answer. I get it...It's part of the contest. A test to see how these finalists handles a difficult situation incase of a public backlash. But nonetheless, the interviewer from Hlive was being unprofessionally rude rather than being stern or 'hardcore' BUT professional. But perhaps it's all for the benefit of viewing pleasure I suppose.

But here's the issue...for entertainment or not, the two girls are now being pressured by the ongoing cyber bullying.
Ok, need I be frank and say they did sound ridiculous and immature in represent themselves during the interview, but nonetheless I think the public backlash is just a little bit too hypocritical and overpowering.
So they failed to come up with an explanation of what GST really is, and what GST really stands for, but are we really surprised? What's the big deal? Oh so you think it's just irresponsible for them to not even be bothered of the Malaysian political scene?
And now it's national news.
Oh please, these girls aren't running for president. As a matter of fact, I didn't even thought much about them. It's a useless competition to begin with!

So I asked myself, why is everyone paying attention to something that was practically non-existent just a few days back?
Simple. It just gives us something to talk about. There's a room criticism, we fill it in!
I would like to blindly say that it's a Malaysian thing, but i dont really feel like soaking myself in hot water at the moment (not that i haven't), but Im pretty sure someone out there would love to object my statement and prove themself right.
It's ok. It's a free country.
Yet little do we realize it, that when we commit the guilty act of bullying -by mouth, force, or even just by typing- we fall less than perfect from where they are.

But oh well....That's Life 😉

Sunday, April 26, 2015

of LOVE and LUST

The big question. Are we in love? Or do we just devour ourselves in LUST, to the point we can't tell one apart?
There's been many, and I mean many occasions when I've convinced myself that I am in love with another person just because they (and I remind you...many occasions) are the vision -physically- of a beautiful couple portrait.
So one day, I asked myself, do I love them? Or am I in love with that fantasy picture I drew in my own foolish mind?
And the reply I had FOR MYSELF indeed put me to place. A realistic one. I was never in love with them, I was just in love with myself. 'Myself' in a way I envisioned it to be...with them. More like a mirror of false hope, reflecting nothing more than pure fantasy.

It's funny, because they say to talk to ourselves is the first sign of madness. If it's anything I can prove, it indeed gave me the peace I needed with myself. But just out of curiosity, what is being...sane?
People call me crazy numerous times. Friends, families, acquaintances, beck..even strangers. But in my defense, I have YET met someone who is "sane".
Perhaps being "less crazy" is just a way mad people use to describe themselves when they've run out of steam for their own passion and energy in...(wait for it)...LIFE. To live.

Ok, I'm running far off the topic here. Back to the golden question, is it love? Or lust?
Ask yourself this the next time you 'think' you feel butterflies in your tummy. Is she/he really the person you want to wake up to every morning? To care for when they're at their weakest?
If they reveal a darker side of themself, would you be able to compromise?
That, my dear readers, is a trick question.
Someone recently showed me a clip of the late Ertha Kit explaining her point of view for what love is about. When the interviewer asked her of she would be willing to compromise with her partner, she laughed. Loudly. Saying "what is there to compromise?? A relationship needs to be earned!"
A wise lady she was. Couldn't have said it better myself.
We should stop expecting (period). Let's start enjoying the company of the other person with us. Let our feelings grow...naturally...slowly. And perhaps then, will we understand what love is about.

And remember, if you ever find yourself on a an uncertain path of love vs lust, just take your time and read your map carefully.

After all... That's Life 😉

Friday, April 24, 2015

#askforthebil . Bil Musa

Before you dismiss this post as a campaign run, allow me to quickly point out you're wrong. Dont judge a blog by it's tittle.

Introducing...Bil Musa!
Let's move out from under the rock and start breathing some fresh air, yo!
Bil Musa (birthname Nabila Musa) is a blooming flower in the Malaysian music scene.
Signed under Yuna Room Records, Bil Musa is flourishing the local indie scene with her recently launched self-tittled EP on the 5th of April at The Bee, Publika.
Consists of 6 tracks, Bil Musa delivers the sort of sound you'd like to listen to on a Saturday morning to kick off a cheery weekend. 

Not running far off from the sound of 'the boss' Yuna, Bil Musa is somewhat an extension to the sort of a sit-back-and-relax musical vibe.
In the EP, there are 2 Malay tracks (both of which I just adore) and 4 other English tracks. Well.. one of her songs, The Beach, has been split to two different versions. One sung in both Malay and English (per track) and the bonus version includes a pinch of French+English+malay. Sassy.

I first came across Bil's 'The Beach' through Facebook and I immediately fell in love with its quirky lyrics. Most of the words played into the lyrics of Bil Musa's songs are simple and straight to the point. There's no beating around the bush with this one...and perhaps, that's why I find it rather 'easy' to listen to.

Like a snap of the fingers I knew that whom I was listening to is taking a step to a milestone. As a matter of fact, I myself has tweeted her (@BilMusa) and state my trust in her potential saying "you will go far". And like the humble person she is, a reply came in thanking me. So I hope she will forever stay grounded as she shoots for the stars. All the best Bil Musa!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cheapskate coffee shops

It's only recently that I've been spending most of my time, wasting my days away sipping coffee and 'cuci mata' in cafe(s) and coffee shops.
But it's come to my attention that some branches of popular franchises abuse their products in quantity.

A few weeks back I ordered an iced blended green tea latte at 'Coffea Coffee' in Bangsar. I was taken aback in displeased once my order came as it was served in a tiny plastic cup instead of its usual tall glass serving.
Ok...So 'tiny' is a strong word to describe it's size, nonetheless, it's 'tiny' as compared to the RM 12++ I still had to pay for.

Let's be real, we know drinks these days cost an arm and yet, we still give in to our temptations just for that deserving cup of coffee (or tea, yogurt name it) just to please our taste buds for the day. And yes, though we still trim down our wallet size, at the end of the day, all we want is a decent cup/glass of our ordered drinks. 

All we ask if that they would at least have a sense of respect for us if not for their own reputation.

Another franchise that does the same (that I have personally experienced) would be 'Tous Les Jours'.
Now this one.....hmmm
Not only did they serve my mango yogurt drink in a plastic cup half the size of the glass but when my usual chicken ceaser salad were served to me, I've noticed there were no bacon in it. Now don't judge me by saying that I'm being difficult or too particular with my orders, no no... The ingredients used in making that perfect salad I've had in mind, is listed down on the menu itself! Please...check it out for yourself.
So typically, I would evaluate my final decision in ordering based on what's in the ingredient list. And I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one.

So yes, sue me for being rather disappointed on realizing I was not served what I was 'promised'.

Do we have to keep playing victim to these simple, yet offensive, budget-cutting tricks by these outlets? I mean, if its ok to do, only if the prices too would be slashed in half. Ain't that right?